1. Patrick Surtain II, Alabama
Size: 6-2, 208
The Good: You can put him anywhere in the secondary and he’s going to do massive things, but to have a guy with his size and bulk who can run a sub-4.5 and with the mentality and technique to be a superstar right out of the box, you throw him on the opposing star receiver and you take your chances.
He was supposed to be special among special Alabama recruits, and he was just that with 116 tackles with four picks and 24 broken up passes in a rock-solid three-year run.
He plays like a guy whose dad was a great NFL corner, and he does things like he was coached at Alabama, but he’s also making himself into a star. The main knock against him was that he wasn’t all that spectacular at times, but all he did was everything at a high level.
The Not-So-Good: If we’re getting really nitpicky here, as fast as he is, he doesn’t quite have that one extra gear of ridiculous flash that some of the other top corners do.
He’s going to have to use his toughness and power against some of the craftier smallish receivers, but the burst of quickness isn’t quite at the upper-echelon level – call it a trade-off considering his size.
He also didn’t pick off a whole lot of passes. He came up with four in his career spread out over the three years – he made a lot of strong plays, but not always the spectacular.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 23, 2021
NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: To go with the tired current cliché, steel sharpens steel – you tend to figure a few things out when you practice against the Alabama receiving corps of the last few years. The crazy part is that he’s already projected to be special at the next level, and he can even take his game up a few notches. He has the talent and upside to be a multi-year Pro Bowl talent who has to be avoided at all costs by quarterbacks once he gets his NFL feet wet.
Projected Round: First